University Business - November/December 2010 - (Page 28)

FINANCIAL AID Debating the Delayed DREAM Act Children of illegal immigrants and citizenship through higher education By Haley Chitty A RECENT, UNSUCCESSFUL effort by Senate leaders to provide a path to citizenship for children who were brought to the United States illegally sparked debate over the provision among financial aid administrators. e provision, commonly referred to as the DREAM Act, would allow the children of illegal immigrants to earn citizenship through higher education or military service. When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced the DREAM Act would be included in a Defense Department spending bill, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators joined the majority of the higher education community to advocate lawmakers to pass the bill. NASFAA has been a vocal supporter of the DREAM Act because it fits with the association’s mission to remove barriers to higher education especially for underserved student populations. However, NASFAA’s diverse members don’t always see eye to eye, and this is the case with the DREAM Act. After NASFAA reiterated its support for the DREAM Act, members expressed their views on the bill and an interesting debate emerged. is column summarizes some of the more common points raised by members who support and oppose the DREAM Act. NASFAA’s 2010-11 National Chair Laurie Wolf sparked the DREAM Act debate among financial aid administrators when she posted a blog entry The Act would prevent young people from being deported to a country about which they have little or no recollection. ( explaining why NASFAA supports the DREAM Act and addressing some common misperceptions about the bill. Wolf wrote that “children of immigrants (legal or undocumented) are able to attend and receive [a K-12] education in the United States. rough their educational experience, they have been acclimated to our culture. Many of them are high academic achievers who want to give back to their adopted country. Under current law, they are not allowed to move forward with their lives, due to no fault of their own.” SINS OF THE FATHER In her blog entry, Wolf echoes the sentiment of many DREAM Act supporters who contend that the children of illegal immigrants should not be punished for the actions of their parents. In response to this point, some aid administrators expressed concern that the DREAM Act would open the door to fraud and abuse by allowing adults to claim they were brought here as children to access the new path to citizenship. Others expressed concern that the DREAM Act would increase illegal immigration by providing an incentive for parents to bring their children into the country. Haley Chitty is director of communications at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, 28 | November/December 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - November/December 2010

University Business - November/December 2010
Editor's Note
College Index
Company Index
Advisory Board
Behind the News
Financial Aid
Models of Efficiency
An Edible Arrangement
Friend or Foe?
Sense of Place
Independent Outlook
Internet Technology
What's New
End Note

University Business - November/December 2010